Sporting Bengal boss Gazi is excited for the ‘real football’ to begin at Mile End derby

Action from Sporting Bengal United v Saffron Walden Town in the Essex Senior League at Mile End Stad

Action from Sporting Bengal United v Saffron Walden Town in the Essex Senior League at Mile End Stadium (pic Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant

Sporting Bengal United manager Imrul Gazi has revealed the ‘real football’ starts now as they head into a Mile End derby with rivals Tower Hamlets.

Action from Sporting Bengal United v Saffron Walden Town in the Essex Senior League at Mile End Stad

Action from Sporting Bengal United v Saffron Walden Town in the Essex Senior League at Mile End Stadium (pic Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant

John Jatto's Hamlets side will welcome ground-sharing neighbours Bengal to the Mile End Stadium for an Essex Senior League clash which both teams will be determined to win as they look to climb up the table.

Bengal boss Gazi knows his side must start picking up results as they have currently failed to win in their last seven fixtures to leave them sitting in 14th place.

"The real football starts now. Saturday and the next two games are huge for us, as we're playing against teams in and around us," Gazi said.

"They're games we're looking to take points from - the next two - and I've set a target, so let's see if we can get it, but it depends on availability of players.

Action from Sporting Bengal United v Saffron Walden Town in the Essex Senior League at Mile End Stad

Action from Sporting Bengal United v Saffron Walden Town in the Essex Senior League at Mile End Stadium (pic Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant


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"It's that time of the year where it's really difficult, but I'm not a fool, we need results and we need them quick."

Bengal sealed a 5-2 victory over Hamlets earlier in their season in their home fixture, but Gazi knows they were slightly lucky.

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And he has revealed that he admires the philosophy Hamlets are sticking by this campaign, adding: "So far it's been good, we won the last one 5-2, but again I said it at the time, it was not a reflection of the game as we were lucky.

"I thought Tower Hamlets were a good young, capable side. I watched them against Southend Manor, they're very technical and on their day they're able to beat anyone.

"I think it's going to be one of our most difficult games that we will face between now and the end of the season.

"I have a lot of respect for what's going on at Tower Hamlets at the moment and what they're doing for the kids.

"It's what I'm trying to do here at Sporting Bengal as well, give them that experience, as it's invaluable to them.

"Clubs like Sporting Bengal and Tower Hamlets, that's what we're about giving local boys the opportunity to play at this level, so it's going to be a really interesting game."

Bengal know results must come, though, or they could find themselves in a relegation dogfight at the bottom after falling to a 3-0 defeat at leaders Saffron Walden Town last weekend.

"We've got an idea of the points tally we need to stay in the league and once we get there we can start relaxing."

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